Thunder Bay·Audio

New Thunder Bay driving service to help drinkers get home safely

Keeping drivers who've been drinking from getting behind the wheel has turned into a business in Thunder Bay.

Take-your-vehicle-home services like Driverseat are becoming more common

Lawrence Deswiage owns a new enterprise called Driverseat in Thunder Bay. He is pictured here with his wife Trisha. (Supplied)

Keeping drivers who've been drinking from getting behind the wheel has turned into a business in Thunder Bay.

Lawrence Deswiage, who owns a new enterprise called Driverseat, says his service will bring home those who have been drinking — as well as their vehicle. He says his company works like Operation Red Nose, only it will be run year-round.

"No taxi licence is needed because we're not driving people in our own vehicles,” he said.

“We're driving them in their vehicles. We're just a car moving business, so to speak. We're moving customers vehicles for them, whether they're in the vehicles or not."

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Andrew Murie, the CEO of Mothers Against Drunk Driving Canada, said take-your-vehicle-home services like this one are becoming more common.

"A lot of times what you hear — and why these services prosper — is there’s not enough available cabs, [or] transit's not running. As long as there's lots of alternatives, great."

Deswiage says he's not trying to compete with taxi companies, but pointed out that, after a distance of seven kilometres, his service is cheaper.

Driverseat is a franchise and has services in Newmarket, Barrie, Kitchener, Sault Ste. Marie, and Montreal. 

Most smaller branches have eight to nine employees, while larger branches have 30 employees. Deswiage added he is currently hiring.

Deswiage said he hopes to expand the service's hours once word catches on about the business, and once he has enough staff.


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